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Santorini to Limit Cruise Traffic, Visitor Numbers

A cruiseship as seen from Fira, Santorini

The picturesque island of Santorini will as of 2017 implement a system controlling the number of visiting cruise passengers, with a set limit at 8,000 a day in efforts to ensure the best quality services, safeguard the environment and spread out the number of cruise ship calls throughout the week.

The decision comes in light of a recent report released by the Hellenic Ports Association (ELIME) in collaboration with the Thira Municipality and the University of the Aegean, which found that in 2015, Santorini welcomed 636 port calls and more than 790,000 passengers, making the Cycladic isle number one in incoming cruise traffic with Piraeus second.

Islanders as well as tourism professionals agree that the massive number of tourists visiting Santorini is overwhelming, particularly during peak season between May and October, often reaching 10,000 in single day.

The system will be introduced this year in a pilot phase, Thira Port Authority president Ilias Pelekis told Kathimerini, given that cruise operators have already drafted their itineraries. It will be fully implemented in 2017.

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